Summer in Maine

September 2, 2021

This blog is supposed to be largely about building and improving the Tardis, so here you go: I did two actual pieces of work all summer long: a new smooth-walled bilge pump hose to use as a sink drain instead of the old mess of water hose and hose connections, and a household size toilet seat for the head — which works just fine.

The boat ran great all summer, Molly was up for two long stays, proving it’s comfortable. Even with the finish a little on the worn side compared to when it came out of the shop, Mark Smaalder’s unique creation gets a lot of admiration from some folks who really know their wooden boats (although nine out of 10 think it’s a Sam Devlin design).

I was anchored in a beautiful spot near Burnt Island, in the ocean way down at the end of Muscongus Bay, when a couple rowed over for a look at Tardis and a lot of questions after learning that she was built in 2017, not 1927. They were sailing an absolute gold-plate Cal 40 that looked showroom new. They seemed most intrigued about the fact that Tardis is a roomy, comfortable boat that could be trailered because THEY HAD TRAILERED THEIR CAL 40 BACK AND FORTH FROM CALIFORNIA SEVERAL TIMES. As they left, we exchanged names.

They were Stan and Sally Honey. He is probably the most famous ocean racing navigator in the world, and is not looking for his next meal, since he invented the “yellow yard line” for NFL telecasts and every other kind of sports video technology you can think of. And they had sailed the Cal 40 in the Transpac five times. They know their boats.

With the rest of the country burning up, it was even cooler and moister in Maine this year than usual, but there were no storms at all when I was there. The sailors were complaining about the total lack of wind, but with flat seas Tardis could really make some tracks, covering pretty much all of Mid-Coast Maine from the Sheepscot River to Eggemogin Reach.

When you look at the chart Maine looks huge and the cruising articles make such a big deal of it, you expect some kind of epic journey.  But the key cruising areas are really compact, just chock full of beautiful anchorages and achingly gorgeous towns.  I don’t think I ever was on the water for more than three hours, and an hour or so between stops was more like it. 

I spent 24 days away from Derecktor Robinhood south of Bath in the two months after frantically closing up the shop, and want to get in another week during the fall.  I didn’t take many pictures because the Internet probably doesn’t need many more beautiful shots of Maine, but here are a few of Tardis among the superyachts, a few other stops, me stopping by the WoodenBoat School to pick up my Honorary Doctor of Epoxy (Two Part) degree and my wife “working” remotely.

Yes, I said “closing up the shop.” It was really sad, but using a great big shop full of power tools as a storage shed just isn’t economically viable. So a lot of the small stuff went away via Craigslist and I gave most of the big tools to Matt and Jessica from MJ Sailing who are building a big, fast cat down in Annapolis (not wooden, DEFINITELY not wooden as you can see on their You Tube channel). They are super-focused young people and I just know my tools will get used and used properly.

As for the future, Tardis will winter inside at Robinhood and we’ll try to get way Downeast next summer — with new AGM batteries to complete my electrical plan.

3 comments on “Summer in Maine

  1. Steve White
    September 3, 2021 at 4:46 pm #

    Paul, I just returned from 8 days sailing in Maine, in Blue Hill, Jericho, Penobscot Bays. We also spent the night at Burnt Island, but the one In Penobscot Bay, not Muscongas Bay. Anyhow, love your blog, so keep it coming. Steve


  2. memsahibsvoyage
    September 3, 2021 at 5:05 pm #

    I could have put the boat on the trailer and driven it across the lobster pots in Jericho Bay.


  3. Tom Tolla
    October 19, 2021 at 11:21 am #

    Paul, its looks like you are enjoying Maine. Im happy to see that Tardis and Molly are both well! Miss you the shop space. call me! Id love to have you stop in and see my progress on the Nauset 35. 203-314-7761


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